January 2016 team update
At this time of year our team are working in the lower level countryside as the shorter days and weather mean it is unsafe (and impractical) to work up in the Fells throughout the year. We call this our "Winter Work" programme and our Ranger team colleagues have plenty of work for us to do.
This update covers some of our activities over the last month or so and gives an insight into the type of things we might be doing when we are not working on erosion in the fells of the Lake District.
We are used to working with rock and consequently dry stone walling is a frequent task. There is never a shortage of wall gaps and we also sometimes do slightly more formal work, such as in the image below.
Luke & Sarah working on a Dry Stone retaining wall for a raised bed at Wray Castle
Another common task in recent years has been construcing tree cages for our Woodland Ranger to protect young trees. This year has been no exception and we have just been told he has some more for us to do.
Luke working on a tree cage on a nice Winter day (Wetherlam in the background)
Installing and repairing countryside furniture such as gates, stiles and benches is another type of work we might be found doing. A recent example was a new bench in the grounds of Wray Castle. This bench has generously been donated by a family who have connections to Wray Castle.
Tom working on the new bench at Wray Castle
The finished bench
We don't completely neglect the fell work at this time of the year and do fit in some maintenance days, weather permitting. We also have at least one upland work party per month with the Fix the Fells volunteer lengthsmen.
A recent work party with the Fix the Fells lengthsmen on Browney Gill (on a fairly grim day)
The team also completed a first aid course for remote environments during January. Very useful skills although we hope that we don't have to put them into practice!
Tom perfecting his bandaging technique on Luke
Sarah tending to Luke (a very happy casualty) during a first aid scenario on the course
A bonus around this time of year is that the light first or last thing can be quite striking as the sun rises or sets. A couple of recent images are included below to conclude this update.
Sun rise looking along Windermere from Wray Castle as the team started work
Looking along Coniston Water at the end of one working day
For updates on a daily basis why not follow this team on Twitter @NTLakesFells